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Teagan Dorsch
Professor Malcolm Campbell
English 1103
Oct 4, 2016
The Astounding Benefits of Nature
Introduction/Overview
I will be Looking into the positive ways Biophilic Design Principles effects its
inhabitants. Biophilia is a term first used by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm; however, it was
Edward O. Wilson in his hypothesis introduced by his book Biophilia that universalized the
initial proposed idea. Edward O. Wilson describes biophilia as the connections that human
beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life. This ideological movement has since been
growing, and now finds itself the topic of several new scientific studies. Biophilic design is the
use and implementation of a sensory connection to nature in order to enhance the given space.
One application of biophilia is through the use of nature in space; examples of this are
presented by Terrapin Bright Green. They describe seven patterns of nature in the space that
range from obtaining a Visual Connection with Nature to the Presence of water. They then
continue within each section; defining the term, giving real world examples and presenting
studies that show the benefit of the ideas. For example, they presented that the presence of water
proved to give people reduced stress, better moods and higher self-esteems.
There are several proponents against biophilic design and its effects on mental health.
Ecopsychology.com presented three major flaws within biophilic methodology in a paper
written by Douglas Radore. He stated that the validity, understanding of statistics and loose
interpretations of data can lead to misleading conclusions about biophilia.

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Initial Inquiry Question(s)


How does the inclusion of nature, within architecture, benefit those users of the structure
in a positive way?

My Interest in this Topic


Biophilia first became an interest to me after it was suggested that I look into it by the
professor interviewing me for my acceptance into the School of Architecture. I had brought up
my interest the related topic of biomimicry, which I had done my senior research project on.
Biomimicry is, in essences, the use of natures innovation to design new innovations. That
similar connection and interest in the use of nature to inspire design led me to look more into the
topic of biophilia. I found the concept, that humans have an innate connection to nature, and that
connections can have health risk once it is cut, to be intriguing.
From that prior research I have a working understanding of biophilia and how some
architects have imposed it into their works. I have found that our connection with nature is deep
enough to affect our health. Researchers have found that a sensory connection with nature can
lead to less fatigue, lower blood pressure and often other health benefits. (Frumkin, Nature
Contact and Human Health: Building the Evidence Base)
I hope to learn more about how this connection can be used within urban planning,
architecture and within everyday life. I hope to discover how architects have already begun to
use the methodology within their own personal works; and how these health benefits can aid in
making a healthier society in general.

Next Steps

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I will use various design companies, that utilize biophilia, and research into their
methodology of design that they use project to project. Companies such as Terrapin Bright
Green. In combination I will use several texts ranging from Edward O. Wilsons book Biophilia,
to other peer reviewed journals that are offered to us through the Library, and many of the
textbooks, and other resources, such as the help center to find useful sources. Lastly, I will look
into Ted talks, such as those by Janine Benyus, and other activist of using nature in their designs.